Brian Wilson, perhaps collecting sand for his sandbox... or for castles.
1974: Jimmy Buffett, drink in hand, toes in sand in a superior year.
Sing a Sandy Song
...with apologies to Sly Stone.
Sure, the 2nd Street Jesus Freak has been building them for over two decades in front of the Plim Plaza. But for sand sculpture freaks looking for more than historically inaccurate (Christ couldn’t possibly have looked like that, as science proved - as did Time magazine, among others, did with its cover portrait - years ago, but myopic religious fanaticism has no regard for science or progress in general) churchical/biblical depictions, the third annual OC Sandfest, beginning Monday and culminating in the awards ceremony at the grandstand downtown Thursday at noon, demands a daily walkabout.
Here's your soundtrack as you perambulate: eight sand in your suit songs for the eighth month.
Crucially crucial: The Beach Boys have at least a dozen lyrics in their catalogue referencing sand (said Captain Obvious). So they'll be represented by
*"Brian Wilson" - Brian Wilson (2000)
Barenaked Ladies wrote this affectionate semiautobio ode that the genius man child himself rated so as to cover inna a capella style on his 2000 "Live At The Roxy" set. "If you wanna find me I'll be out in my sandbox/wondering where the hell all the love has gone/building castles in the sun/and singing Fun Fun Fun."
*"I Live For The Sun" - The Sunrays (1965)
Having been booted from The Beach Boys - his own sons and nephew-a year earlier for unwelcome production advice and general assholism, "Dad" Murry Wilson adopted The Renegades from Pacific Palisades, changing their name and producing their first single in the style of early Brian hits, including session drummer Hal Blaine. "Take your girl by the hand/walk with her in the sand" was naïve imagery his son had progressed past by Spring 1965. But I’ve covered that beachfront property a couple times this year alone.
*"Beautiful Girls" - Van Halen (1978)
The Michael Anthony-led a capella vocals of Van Halen lightened the heavy metal crunch, speaking of that other famous band of L.A. brothers, and they didn’t get any more sunlit and summery than "I got a drink in my hand I got my toes in the sand/all I need is a beautiful girl". Shine on Dave, you crazy diamond.
*"Remember Walking In The Sand" - Aerosmith (1979)
From original sixties girl group The Shangrilas in 1964, produced by Brill Building songwriter Jeff Barry and written by future New York Dolls producer Shadow Morton, author of the girls'/Dolls' "Give Her A Great Big Kiss". Aerosmith covered it based on the Dolls association on their last album before the Tyler/Perry alliance severed, Night In The Ruts. That's all Brad Whitford on guitar as Joe had split by the time this song was recorded in May 1979.
*"Castles Made Of Sand" - Jimi Hendrix (1967)
In the year of Jimi's psychedelic masterpieces, in the same late October session as "Spanish Castle Magic". Nuff, as they say, said.
*"Fins" - Jimmy Buffet (1979)
"Maybe roll in the sand with a rock and roll man/somewhere down Montserrat way." From Volcano, Bubba's transitional release after the rum and coc party that was his hedonistic seventies, documented the year before on the raucous era ending live document You Had To Be There. Once asked in an interview "which direction is your music headed, Jimmy smirked "south." Not anymore - the new direction for the mellowed and mediocre eighties would be a lateral move at best. As he admitted on a lesser track on the same superior album he was, indeed, "Stranded On A Sandbar."
*"Enter Sandman"- Metallica (1991)
On the subject of transitional albums and lateral (at best) moves: Metallica hire super producer of the moment Bob Rock and take it to the next level and beyond with the polarizing Black Album. Irrelevance is next. Come to think of it, Aerosmith's unfortunate trajectory preceded Metallica's when they hired Bruce Fairbairn in 1987 for Permanent Vacation.
*"Mister Sandman"- Pat Ballard (1954)
My favorite part is when the girls sing the title and the baritoned title supplicant answers.
Bring me a dream in the form of some dreamy sand art this week. With a drink in my hand and my toes in the sand.
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